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IELTS Essay Introduction for an Opinion Essay

This lesson looks at how to write an IELTS essay introduction for an opinion essay. The introduction is the easiest part of any IELTS essay as it follows a similar content for all IELTS task 2 types.

This lesson is a follow-on lesson from last week. Learn how to find main points before continuing with this introduction lesson: Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay:

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

How to write an IELTS essay introduction
  1. Write one statement paraphrasing the information given. This will be your background statement. Make sure you paraphrase the information exactly and don’t include any irrelevant or extra information in it.
  2. When you paraphrase, make sure you are using words that you are confident with. It is good to paraphrase but you will reduce your band score if you have too many errors.
  3. Introduce your answer in the thesis statement. The thesis statement follows the background statement. It should contain your answer, your main points.
  4. Don’t write more than 50 words for your introduction.
Model Introduction

Eating meat is considered by some to damage our health and for that reason they believe all people should adopt a vegetarian diet. In my opinion, although a vegetarian diet is certainly a healthy option, having a balanced diet, which contains vegetables and some healthy meat, is the key.

Vocab Builder
  • cause serious health problems = damage our health
  • become a vegetarian = adopt a vegetarian diet

 

Next lesson, we will look at how to write the body paragraphs for this essay.

Recommended Lessons

Finding Main Points for an Opinion Essay (Previous Lesson for this topic)
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: How to write an introduction
IELTS Video Lesson for Writing Task 2: Connecting Sentences
IELTS Liz YouTube Channel

Vocabulary for IELTS Writing Task 1 Line Graph

This lesson looks at some essential words to describe a line graph in IELTS writing task 1. To get a good band score you must show the examiner a range of different words to show upward and downward trends. IELTS line graphs show change over a period of time and you must vary your language when you write your report.

Line Graph Vocabulary

ielts line graph vocabulary

Mistakes when using words will affect your band score. To get band score 6, you must have only some errors with a range of vocabulary. To get band score 7, you must have few errors with a good range of vocabulary.

 Practice

Fill in the gaps with the vocabulary from the table above. Make sure you adapt the words to make the sentences grammatically correct. The completed paragraph below is an example of a body paragraph for a line graph.

line graph vocab practice

Fill in the gaps with the correct vocabulary. You should use no more than two words for each gap.

The number of cases began at 100 in 1983 and then the figure 1. …………………… steadily to reach 200 in 1987. In the following year, there was 2. …………………… back to 100 before rising to 3. …………………….. 400 in 1989. The number4.  ………… slightly to 350 in 1991 and then 5. ……………….. dramatically to a low of 0 in 1992.

Answers
  1. rose / increased / climbed / grew / went up
  2. a fall / a decline / a slump / a decrease
  3. peak at
  4. dropped / fell / declined / decreased
  5. dropped / fell / declined / decreased (it is also possible to use “plummeted” or plunged)

 

Recommended Lessons

 IELTS Line Graph Model: click here
IELTS Video: how to write a line graph complex sentence, click here
IELTS Video: the 4 main complex sentences, click here
Video Lesson: IELTS writing answer sheet, click here

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IELTS Multiple Choice Reading Practice

This multiple choice reading practice has lots of academic language similar to the academic paper in IELTS reading.

First Test to Predict Alzheimer’s

The world’s first blood test to predict Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur has been developed. The test identifies 10 chemicals in the blood associated with the disease two to three years before symptoms start, but it might be able to predict Alzheimer’s decades earlier.

Globally, 35 million people are living with Alzheimer’s. It is characterised by a toxic build up of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which destroys the neurons. Several blood tests can diagnose the disease, but until now, none has had the sensitivity to predict its onset.

But with no treatments available, would anyone want to take these tests? Mapstone says “In my experience, the majority of people are very interested to know whether they will get Alzheimer’s. They believe that knowledge is power – particularly when it comes to your own health. We may not have any therapy yet but there are things we can do – we can get our financial and legal affairs in order, plan for future care, and inform family members.”

Questions 1 – 3

Choose the correct letter A-C

  1. The test can predict Alzheimer’s…….

a) two or three years before the illness begins.

b) two or three years from the start of the symptoms.

c) a decade before.

 2. This test is the first blood test which can …….

a) cure Alzheimer’s

b) estimate the start of the disease

c) diagnose the disease

3. Mapstone believes that ….

a) this test will help people understand Alzheimer’s

b) people want to know about their health

c) people want power

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers

1 = a   Before symptoms start = before the illness begins (2nd sentence)

2 = b   Estimate the start = predict its onset (2nd paragraph, last sentence)

3 = b

Vocab Builder
  • 2 or 3 years from the start of = 2 or 3 years after symptoms start
  • predict = foresee / forecast / foretell
  • occur = happen / came about
  • associated with = connected to
  • characterise = typify / exemplify
  • symptoms = signs (of an illness)
  • onset = start / inception

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

 

Passage from New Scientist, 09/03/14

Summary Completion: IELTS Listening Practice

IELTS Listening Summary Completion Exercise

The difficulty level of this exercise is typical of IELTS section 4. First read through the summary and predict the types of answers you need for each gap.

The Terracotta Army

Complete the summary using no more than three words and /or a number.

Questions 1-5

The terracotta army was made in order to 1.  …………………… the emperor after this death in his afterlife. This funerary art has been estimated to be from the 2. ………………. and was discovered in 1974 by the 3. …………………… The majority of the sculptures were 4.  …………. and 5. ………….. sculptures of cavalry horses were also found.

Transcript
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.
The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BC, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in, Xi’an. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits nearby. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. (from wiki)
Answers
  1. protect
  2. third century BC / 3rd century BC
  3. local farmers
  4. soldiers
  5. 150
Vocab Builder
  • to depict =show
  • purpose = aim / function
  • vary = differ
  • warrior = soldier
  • majority = greater part
  • figures = people

 

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Listening Practice: Sentence Completion
IELTS Listening Practice: Short Answer Questions

IELTS Speaking Part 2 Model Answer: Holidays

This is a band score 9 sample answer for a speaking part 2 talk in IELTS. This model demonstrates who you can expand each prompt with more information and description. This IELTS speaking part 2 model answer is estimated at band score 9.

Describe a holiday you recently had.

You should say:

  • where you went
  • how you got there
  • what you did there
  • and explain if you enjoyed it

Model Talk

I would like to talk about a holiday I went on in the south of Vietnam just a few months ago. I went with my parents to a town called Nha Trang, which is a lovely coastal town, and we decided to go there so that they could experience a different part of the country and see life by the beach.

We flew there from Hanoi, which is the capital of Vietnam. The flight took about 1 hour and on the whole it went smoothly. We managed to be one of the first on board and one of the first off when we landed. It was certainly quicker and easier than going by train, which can take over 15 hours.

There was so much to do there that we only had a chance to do just a few things on our three day trip. We took a cruise around the islands and also did some sightseeing inland as well. Taking part in a cookery course was great fun, where we bought fresh ingredients at the local market and learned how to use a wok to fry fresh fish and other seafood like crab and lobster.

We definitely enjoyed our trip and would go there again if we could. Seeing the colourful lifestyle of the locals and having a chance to see spectacular scenery was something we will never forget. For my parents it was a holiday of a life time and they’re still talking about it. If I could live there, I would.

Recommended Lessons

IELTS Video Lesson for Speaking: How to improve at home
IELTS Video Lesson for Speaking Part 1: What’s your favourite
IELTS Video Lesson for Speaking Part 3: Urban vs Rural Life

Opinion Essay: Finding Main Points

This lesson shows you how to find ideas for your IELTS opinion essay and organise them into paragraphs. It is important to spend time analysing the statement before you decide your opinion. You should look at the essay question carefully and think about the issues in the statement. Below you will see some questions to help you analyse the opinion essay title.

Every one of us should become a vegetarian because eating meat can cause serious health problems.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Analysing an Opinion Essay

Answer the following questions

  1. Do you think vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat?
  2. Do you think the vegetarian diet is healthy?
  3. Do you think people who eat meat are unhealthy?
  4. Does eating meat always create health problems?
  5. Is there any meat which you think is healthy to eat?
  6. Do you think all people should be vegetarian?
  7. Do you think all people should stop eating meat?
  8. What is another way to say “vegetarian”?
Model Ideas & Structure
  • Body Paragraph A: I agree that eating a vegetarian diet is healthy.
  • Body Paragraph B: However, not all meat is unhealthy
  • Body Paragraph C:  I believe that having a balanced diet containing predominantly vegetables with some healthy meats is best.
Paraphrase
Vegetarian = people who do not eat meat / people who do not have meat in their diet / to have a vegetarian diet. You cannot paraphrase “vegetarian” as “vegan”. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use any product that comes from animals.

 

Recommended Lessons

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Introduction and Overview for a Bar Chart

A sample introduction and overview for this IELTS chart is given below. The introduction is the easiest paragraph to write and the overview is the most important paragraph in your report. Look at the sample paragraphs below for the IELTS chart given and fill in the gaps.

The chart below shows the average monthly expenditure by British households in three years.

ielts chart

Introduction and Overview for an IELTS Chart

Fill in the gaps with no more than two words in order to complete the introduction and overview for the above chart.

Introduction

The (1) ……………………… illustrates the typical (2)  ……………………….. of money spent each month on utility bills, transport, rent, entertainment (3) …………..groceries by households in Britain in three years (1990, 2000 and 2010). Units are (4) …………………. in pounds sterling.

Overview

(5) …………………., the largest expenditure was on rent,, (6)  ………………. the least amount of money spent was on utility bills and entertainment. While there was a significant (7)  …………………. in spending on rent, transport and utility bills, there was little change in the amount spent on the two other items.

Answers
  1. chart / bar chart
  2. amount
  3. and
  4. measured
  5. Overall (this is the most correct and appropriate linker to use)
  6. whereas or while (it is not possible to use “in comparison to” or any similar linker due to the grammar structure of the sentence. To use “in comparison to” the sentence must read “…the largest expenditure was on rent in comparison to the least amount of money spent which was on …”)
  7. increase / rise / growth
Tips & Vocab
  • Paraphrase the information for the introduction
  • shows = illustrates
  • average = typical
  • expenditure = amount of money spent
  • monthly = each month
  • Give the units if necessary
  • Put key features together in the overview
  • The overview is usually a separate paragraph
  • This IELTS chart is considered a simple chart and all students aiming for band score 6 and above should be able to write this report without many errors.
  • Watch the video lesson suggest below to learn about the correct paragraphing to use in IELTS writing task 1

 

Recommended Lessons

Writing Task 1 Diagram introduction and overview, click here
Bar Chart Model Band Score 9, click here
IELTS Video Tutorial: Structure and Paragraphs for Writing Task 1, click here

IELTS Summary Completion Reading Practice

To answer a summary question in IELTS reading, you should skim read the passage and then spend time reading through the summary to predict answers and prepare paraphrases. This is a practice lesson for summaries.

Fermented Foods

Fermentation is a process in which an agent [typically bacteria and yeast] cause an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic [no oxygen] breakdown of sugar into alcohol, i.e. the making of beer or wine. Fermentation in food processing is the conversion of carbohydrates (plant foods) to alcohols and carbon dioxide, or organic acids, using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions. Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desirable, and the process is used to produce alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cider. Fermentation is also employed in the leavening of bread, and for preservation techniques to create lactic acid in sour foods such as sauerkraut, dry sausages, kimchi and yogurt, or vinegar (acetic acid) for use in pickling foods.

Nobel Prize winner Dr. Elie Metchnikoff was one of the first scientists to recognize the benefits of eating fermented foods. His research in the early 1900’s focused on the Bulgarians. He believed the daily ingestion of yogurt was a major contribution to their superior health and longevity.

Bulgarians perfected the art of detoxifying and preserving milk (removing the lactose and predigesting the proteins) and transforming it into yogurt and cheese. For centuries, Europeans used wine as a source of clean, durable water. The Caucasians used Kefir grains for the same purpose: detoxify milk products to make Kefir. Vegetables were also fermented to preserve them from spoilage, such as kimchi in Korea. Most of the pickled products found on our grocery shelves were at one time a fermented product: pickles, saurkraut, and even catsup (a Chinese word for pickled fish brine). However, since fermentation isn’t always a uniform process, manufacturers found another way to make these products.

Questions 1-6

Complete the summary using the list of words (A-J) below. Write the correct letter on your answer sheet, in boxes 1-6

 International Uses for Fermentation

At the start of the 20th century, Dr. Elie Metchnikoff put forward his belief that the 1.  ……………… and good health of Bulgarians could be attributed to eating fermented food each day. By 2. ……………. and preserving milk, they were able to convert it into 3……………… and 4. …………………. In other parts of Europe, fermented 5. ……………… was consumed as a replacement for clean water. Some 6. ……………….. were fermented which gave them a longer lifespan but nowadays this is done by pickling.

A) ingesting     B) yoghurt      C )  longevity     D) pickled products    E) wine    F) food    G) kimchi    H) cheese   I) detoxifying    J) vegetables

Answers

Click below to reveal the answers.

Answers
  1. C
  2. I
  3. B (any order)
  4. H (any order)
  5. E
  6. J

Passage from healing naturally by bee.com

All reading exercises on ieltsliz.com have been written by myself to help you prepare for your IELTS test.   

Liz

 

Recommended

IELTS Reading: Sentence Completion Practice, click here